Weigh Your Risk Factors of Developing Cataract

There are many types of cataract. The most common type is age-related. This simply means that all of us will eventually have cataract in varying degrees in our life time.

Age related cataract may appear anytime in your later years of life. In some people it may develop early while it may not be visually significant even in their seventies, for instance.

Similarly, the degree and type of cataract may vary. The resultant visual disability could range from mild where it can be corrected with appropriate glasses, to complete blindness. The latter can only be corrected with surgery.

So, irrespective of the type and extent of cataract, the good news is blindness caused by cataract is very much curable provided it is not associated with other coexisting diseases of the eye. For example, if a person has cataract associated with glaucoma, his vision may not be restored to normal since glaucoma has already caused some irreversible damage to the eye.

Apart from age, other risk factors for developing cataract are:
1. Ultraviolet radiation (prolonged exposure to sunlight)
2. Heavy smoking for several months/years
3. Diabetes
4. Steroids, which may be systemically administered or in the form of eye drop in the affected eye
5. Kidney failure
6. High blood pressure
7. Dehydration (you just found another reason to keep yourself well hydrated)
8. Female gender (yes, studies say so)

Now you know the major risk factors of having cataract. You cannot completely prevent cataract but you can at least delay it and may be you’ll never need a cataract surgery.

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